Guide Grooves: Macklemore and Ellie Goulding

Guide Grooves from October 12 from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

This edition of Guide Grooves is probably the most exciting post to date, mostly because my colleagues at The Guide picked two awesome artists and they both made amazing albums. Ellie Goulding’s unique voice was crafted into an edgier and more interesting album than 2011’s “Lights,” while Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have released an album with more than a few instant hits.

Halcyon — Ellie Goulding Her voice is just so captivating. And this song beautifully showcases her voice with strong drum beats, a melodious backdrop and a light smattering of guitar. Perfection.

My Blood — Ellie Goulding The Guide’s review called this the song to download on this album. It’s beautiful, and the chorus oozes with feeling.

Cowboy Boots — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Forget Thrift Shop (even though it’s probably the catchiest song on the album). This is the most underrated song album (it’s an awesome late-night chill song) and the chorus has a folk quality that Macklemore effortlessly integrates into his own rap.

Can’t Hold Us — Macklemore and Ryan Lewis I can’t describe this song better than The Guide’s review: This song is an “uplifting piano-pounding, stomp-along flash of studio genius from Ryan Lewis. Macklemore holds nothing back; his flow is precise, and the low bass kick coupled with horns that appear halfway through propel it further.”

I also have to have a shout out to what is probably the most eloquent and wonderfully crafted social commentary I’ve had the pleasure to listen to: “Same Love” is simultaneously a straight-forward and unequivocal endorsement of LGBT equality and a blistering social commentary on stereotypes, prejudices and negative portrayals on homosexuality in society in general and rap in particular. Watch the music video. I cried almost as hard at the video as I did at the end of Toy Story 3. It’s also hard to ignore the spirited endorsement of LGBT equality from an rapper as mainstream as Macklemore in an album that is proving to be one of the most well-received and influential of the year.

Don’t Make ‘Em Like You — Ne-Yo (feat. Wiz Khalifa) Instant high school dance song. I could definitely picture myself dirty dancing to this song at some point within the next few weeks.

So Many Details — Toro y Moi I included this song for those of you with more eclectic tastes. This indie band released the single today in advance of their December album.

Better — K’naan Who is your favorite Canadian rapper? Mine is definitely NOT Drake. It’s K’naan. And if you’re still deciding, you must listen to this song.

Skyfall — Adele This is the song that will play during the opening credits of the upcoming James Bond movie. As if you needed another reason to get excited for James Bond.

Guide Grooves: Muse and Matt & Kim

Guide Grooves from October 5 from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

If you didn’t find the time to read The Guide over the long weekend (or if you scampered from town before the issue came out), you missed out on the best guide to food in D.C. Too bad. Fortunately, though we’ve got a taste (no pun intended — or was it?) of the music reviewed in last week’s issue. Muse — everyone’s favorite mildly rebellious British band — released an album we thought could be “the soundtrack to almost any bad dystopian movie” in  a disappointing follow-up to their incredible 2009 album The Resitance. In the meantime, Matt & Kim continued to astound us with their awesome vocals an drum beats. So, take a break to enjoy these awesome (or maybe not-so-awesome) new beats.

The 2nd Law: Unsustainable — Muse I sort of feel like I’m drowning or watching a movie where the world collapses for the first minute, then the song gets so boring I get depressed at how such a great band like Muse could make a song this subpar. It feels like the band itself is living in a dystopia.

Madness — Muse By far the best song from The 2nd Law. It reminds us of Muse’s roots in a strong lead male vocal, superb beats and an electronic-type beat that is interesting, yet consistent throughout the song.

Now — Matt & Kim This is a totally different style of song for Matt & Kim. That said, it’s a great use of their already-proven talents — Matt’s truly unique voice that exudes positivity and makes you want to dance and Kim’s being absolutely stellar on the drums. Love this song.

It’s Alright — Matt & Kim I couldn’t agree more with The Guide’s review that this song is one of the most danceable songs ever created by this duo. Try not to tap your feet. I dare you.

Ride — Lana Del Rey We all know the Lana Del Rey jokes about her performance earlier this year on SNL. Yes, it was awful. And, yes, “Video Games” is one song I hope to never hear as long as I live. But I like this song! And for someone who hates Lana Del Rey as much as I do, that says a lot.

Closer — Tegan and Sara I am totally moving my head obnoxiously and every time that they scoop their voice at the end of the song I get very happy. A generally good song.

Red — Taylor Swift This song sounds like every other Taylor Swift song, so you’ll probably like it. I don’t, but I don’t like T-Swift all that much. This song also bothers me because the first line is, “Love is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street.” What, T-Swift? Sorry…

Skyfall — ADELE My addition to this playlist. Love James Bond. Love Adele.

Guide Grooves: Mumford & Sons and P!nk

Guide Grooves from September 28 from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

I have the distinct pleasure of writing this week’s Guide Grooves, featuring my favorite band: the irreplaceable and unmatchable Mumford & Sons. My friends have expressed concern that I would be unable to eloquently verbalize my love for their new album Babel, but I intend to make an attempt at it in this post. Im my excitement about Mumford, I forgot all about the other new releases featured in last week’s issue of The Guide. I was pleasantly surprised selections from P!nk’s new album The Truth About Love, Frank Ocean’s new single “Blue Whale” and Missy Elliot’s triumphant return with “9th Inning” featuring Timberland.

Just Give Me A Reason — P!nk ft. Nate Ruess A really excellent change of pace for P!nk. This slower ballad begins with just a piano line and P!nk’s melancholy voice, but then breaks into a driving beat with the melodious voice of Fun.’s Nate Ruess (though I still refer to him as Nate Reuss of ‘The Format’). His entrance turns the song into a heartbreaking conversation between two lovers. I absolutely love this song; it adds a great contrast and color to the album.

Beam Me Up — P!nk So I made the decision to review the two very non-P!nk songs on this very P!nk album. Amid the angry and edgy tracks, I found the aforementioned ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ and this song, ‘Beam Me Up’. Tragic, passionate and fully equipped with swelling violins and twanging guitar lines, one could barely recognize this as a P!nk song. Which, in this case, is a good thing.

Babel — Mumford & Sons The titular song to an immensely epic album. This powerful and exciting banjo line, intermixed with Marcus Mumford’s unique crooning, is enough to make anyone a Mumford fan. I can’t lie though, my favorite part of the entire song is Marcus’s little “whoo!” about a minute into the song.

Below My Feet — Mumford & Sons The second to last song in this album, Mumford & Sons takes their time with this more ballad-like arrangement. The intense and quiet verses, interjected with nearly acapella choruses, create that classic Mumford drama that pulls you into the song just in time for the swelling bridge. Proceed to cry.

Reminder — Mumford & Sons This song gives me absolute chills. “A constant reminder of where I can find her light that might give up the way. It’s all that I’m asking for without her I’m lost, but my love don’t fade away.” ‘Nuff said. Beyond heart-wrenching. The effect doesn’t fade after 42 listens either (I speak from experience).

Lover of the Light — Mumford & Sons This song was released earlier than the rest of the album, and I have many fond memories screaming this at the top of my lungs with the car windows down, whether other people were in the car or not. As I write this, my roommate looks at me as though I’m psychotic as I dance around at my desk playing the air banjo during Winston’s little solo before the final choruses. Excuse me while I turn up the volume.

Blue Whale — Frank Ocean And now for a complete shift of musical styles. Frank Ocean’s slow and conversational rap style comes through in this new single. Rather repetitive, but you don’t find yourself waiting for it to end. The rhythmic pattering is actually quite comforting.

9th Inning — Missy Elliot feat. Timberland Oh haiiii Missy… where have you been? This song is more likely to be used in Georgetown locker rooms as an intense pump-up song before sporting games than it is to be used to excite drunken Hoyas on the laser-strewn dance floors of Brown House (yes, I did learn where it is).

Guide Grooves: Matchbox Twenty and Grizzly Bear

Guide Grooves from September 14 from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

This week, The Guide took a look at a standout classic and a recent standout. Turns out, however, the standout classic — Matchbox Twenty — was underwhelming, while the recent standout — Grizzly Bear — maintained all that had made them a hit in the first place. This week was also an outstanding week for new releases. So instead of picking one great new release, I chose three to serenade your Tuesday evening.

Sleeping Ute — Grizzly Bear Though we highlighted a one of the tracks on this album last week that had been released as a single in August, we had no way of knowing how awesome this album would be yet. Turns out, Grizzly Bear didn’t disappoint following the success of their last album.

Speaking In Rounds — Grizzly Bear This song is a great testament Grizzly Bear’s willingness to experiment with new rhythms and sounds. Surprise! It works beautifully.

Our Song — Matchbox Twenty Unlike our wonderful Guide editor, I have never been a Matchbox fan. This song is both mind-numbingly repetitive and totally gets stuck in your head. A Matchbox song stuck in my head makes me mildly unhappy.

She’s So Mean — Matchbox Twenty Okay, this song is catchy and not horrible. But The Guide also called this the only non-bland song on the album, so the standards for this song weren’t necessarily all that high to begin with.

Default — Atoms for Peace This song is great. It’s got an all-star cast of artists behind it and it features some awesome beats. It’s pretty entrancing and is now the headline of my “Studying at 3 a.m.” playlist.

Every Chance We Get We Run — David Guetta (feat. Tegan & Sara and Alesso) I see what David Guetta is getting at here, with the success of his “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” — both featuring strong female indie vocalist Sia — over the summer. I’ve loved everything that Tegan & Sara have dropped since high school, but I have to agree with The Guide that the vocals don’t necessarily jibe with the song. Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if you find yourself DFMOing to this song at Thirds or Mason soon.

I Will Wait — Mumford & Sons Oh, Mumford, you’ve done it again. You’re beautiful raspy folky songs are making me have an emotional experience.

The Way It Was — The Killers The Killers released a new album today! If everything is like this track, it won’t disappoint.

Time of My Life — MS MR I instantly fell in love with this duo when they came to D.C. in August. They’re shrouded in mystery and we only know the first name of the lead singer — Lizzie — but her vocals are exhilarating to listen to. She somehow manages to combine the power singing of Adele, the smoothness of Florence Welch and the airiness of Ellie Goulding. It’s one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. The male half of the duo is in charge of of MS MR’s incredible beats. This track has been on repeat since it was released as part of an EP on Friday.


Guide Grooves: Stars and The Avett Brothers

Guide Grooves from September 7 from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

In our second installment of Guide Grooves, we’re showing you some amazing new music. First, two tracks from The Avett Brothers’ new album The Carpenter, which will build on their success from 2009’s I and Love and You. Next, a couple of songs from the newly-released album of the Canadian band stars. Also, look forward to a preview of Grizzly Bear’s album, due for release a week from today, and a shout out to the Dutch duo The Raveonettes, whose album The Observator was released today, yet isn’t yet available for download on iTunes. Today is also a great day for music, with the complete release of The xx’s Coexist, mentioned in last week’s edition of Grooves.

Winter in My Heart — The Avett Brothers The Guide’s review of The Carpenter mentioned the incredible feeling with which lead vocalist Scott Avett sings. There is no song on this album in which you can hear raw emotion more than “Winter in My Heart.” It’s just beautiful.

Live and Die — The Avett Brothers This is one of the emotional highs on this album. If you’re looking for an uplifting song to hook you into the album, this is it.

The Loose Ends Will Make Knots — Stars These Canadians are masters at male/female duets, like this one. It’s what made their old songs, like “The Night Starts Here” great, and it’s what makes this song special.

Progress — Stars The Guide’s review didn’t mention this song. But it’s typical Stars. And, since this album “as a whole is too similar to Stars’ previous releases to be memorable,” this song is also typical of the rest of the album. (Side note: I didn’t include “The Theory of Relativity” on this album, but it’s probably my favorite — I didn’t include it because it opens with an audio clip of a radio documentary and thus didn’t fit on a playlist.)

End of the Line — Sleigh Bells I could go on and on about how much I love this duo. Alexis Krauss, marry me, please. Honestly, I love this band so much so that one of the greatest regrets of my life is not driving eight hours from my hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., to Denver, where they played a concert last June. This song is the latest of Sleigh Bells’ musical genius.

Sleep Alone — Two Door Cinema Club The Guide made a serious understatement when they said that this song was “a definite treat to listen to.” It’s great. I which I’d grabbed tickets for either of their performances in D.C. on Oct. 2 or 3.

Yet Again — Grizzly Bear This single makes me so excited for the Sept. 18 release of Grizzly Bear’s first full length album since 2009’s Veckamitest, which was so good it drew Jay-Z and Beyonce to a Grizzly Bear gig that year.

She Owns the Streets — The Raveonettes When I heard this song, fresh off of today’s release of The Observator, I was really excited that I’d found a great new band. Then I discovered this band wasn’t new at all and immediately downloaded like 15 songs from the past decade. It’s a fundamentally uplifting song that will probably make you want to “dance in the streets” as well.

Guide Grooves: Yeasayer and Jukebox the Ghost

Guide Grooves from August 31 from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

This semester at 4E, we’ll be posting a playlist of the music featured in The Guide’s music pages, just in case you missed Friday’s Guide issue or were too lazy to download the tracks featured there. We want to help you get through the grind with a new playlist of music designed for the middle of the week. (Think of Guide Grooves as Friday Fixat10ns for the weekly grind.) And, each week, we’ll show the best new release The Guide missed.

This week: Yeasayer’s August 21 release Fragrant World, Jukebox the Ghost’s June album Safe Travels, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The xx.

Blue Paper — Yeasayer This song is a gem from Yeasayer’s album Fragrant World, released August 21. I fully agree with my friends over at The Guide that “Blue Paper” is remarkable because of its scintillating beats.

Longevity — Yeasayer According to Friday’s review, “Longevity” features “a Justin Timberlake-esque falsetto with saturated vocal effects.” I like this combination — it’s something Yeasayer has done well before and continues to do well now.

Chained — The xx Oh, The xx. You’ve done it once again. You’ve mixed tantalizing voices with calming beats and a fascinating percussion that makes this song culminate in powerful, yet understated “emotional crescendo,” We can’t wait for the full album, Coexist, to be released on Sept. 11.

Somebody — Jukebox the Ghost Though The Guide didn’t appreciate this song’s position as the first track on Safe Travels, I love this song. It’s a catchy song with a chorus that will get stuck in your head in a good way.

A La La — Jukebox the Ghost We may disagree on “Somebody,” but The Guide’s praise of “A La La.” This song never gets boring with “an engaging drum line and effective volume shifts.”

Today’s Supernatural — Animal Collective The Guide’s review of this song is spot on. I skipped it the first time I listened to it after two seconds, then I returned to it and hated it. I’ve listened to it five times now and I love it. this song really does”get better the more you listen to it.”

Strange Man — Red Hot Chili Peppers This song is a perfect example of why we love the Red Hot Chili Peppers: “crooning vocals, twanging bass and introspective lyrics” according to The Guide’s review.

Let’s Go — Matt & Kim I can’t wait for this Oct. 2 release, especially based off of how awesome this single is. The vocals float over the rest of the song in typical Matt & Kim fashion, but they’re experimenting (and succeeding) with new beats.